In order to heal from any wound, it is important to acknowledge what has been harmed and what needs to be healed, learn what will be required to heal, and take action. The findings provided in this report are an acknowledgment of the wounds of how white dominant culture(1) has caused harm and shown up within HSH and the struggles that have been experienced by its staff, funded providers, and people accessing the system while experiencing homelessness. Along with the anger and grief expressed, there is a consistent drumbeat of hope. The community that comprises HSH is strong-willed with a desire to heal and has the capacity to dedicate to transforming itself into an agency that embodies the equity-driven values it aspires to hold.
HSH has demonstrated a tangible intention to be different: through the mobilization around the ORE action plan, advocating for new resources dedicated to equity (the Chief Equity Officer position specifically) and partnering with CHJ to drive this work. The examples elevated within the findings below are specific to the experiences of the people that make up HSH, however are not unique to the way that white dominant culture shows up in most organizations, governments and systems in the U.S.(2) We see these findings as the opportunity for HSH to understand together what it will take to heal and transform. These findings are the first step.
Content Awareness: We want to preface that the findings in this section explicitly name examples of structural racism and white supremacy culture.
(1) Okun, Tema and Kenneth Jones, 1999. “White Dominant Culture & Something Different: A Worksheet.” https://www.cacgrants.org/assets/ce/Documents/2019/WhiteDominantCulture.pdf
(2) Gray, Aysa, 2019. “The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards” Stanford Social Innovation Review. June 4, 2019. https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_bias_of_professionalism_standards
(3) Okun, Tema and Kenneth Jones, 1999. “White Dominant Culture & Something Different: A Worksheet. https://www.cacgrants.org/assets/ce/Documents/2019/WhiteDominantCulture.pdf
(4) Okun, Tema and Kenneth Jones, 1999. “White Dominant Culture & Something Different: A Worksheet. https://www.cacgrants.org/assets/ce/Documents/2019/WhiteDominantCulture.pdf
(5) Vu, 2019. “Are you Guilty of Equity Offset”. Nonprofit AF. November 17, 2019. https://nonprofitaf.com/2019/11/are-you-guilty-of-equity-offset/
(6) Thomas, P.L. 2017. “Understanding Racism as Systemic and About Power”. Radical Eyes for Equity. March 31, 2017. https://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/understanding-racism-as-systemic-and-about-power/